Town of Tabula Rasa – Sparky’s Tour

Hey there folks, ya’ll been waitin long?

Easy there, uh-yup, I hear ya’ll plenty. I’d offer apologies but in this heat I figure ya’ll be wantin to get movin right along. I get it, sincerely, hey no need for ya cussin. Ain’t no bus stop in town jus yet so folk get dropped off at the limits an I pick em up. Uhyup, well ya can hang here till the bus comes back at sunset. Yeah, that’s what I thought. Then let’s get movin cos time’s a wastin.

Stow luggage in here then climb aboard folks. Plenty o seats so no need to push an shove. Sure thems seats are a tad rickety but more comfy than ya modern bus. This old jalopy an me go way back. I call her Betsy, she’s a real work horse for sure – no sir, there ain’t no air-con but I invite ya’ll to keep the windows open and let the breeze cool ya some.

That’s right ma’am jus yank it down hard. Just wait till we get movin and ya’ll be fine.

Howdy little man – what’s that say on your badge? Ben is 10. Guess that means it’s ya birthday huh? Ten’s a mighty fine age, kid, old enough to tie ya shoes but young enough not to care bout gettin birthday cake on ya face.

Left cheek, kid.

No your other left.

You got it.

So you wanna sit up front? I’m sure ya mum’ll ain’t gonna mind none. Saddle up there kid, the roads are kinda bumpy till we hit town.

Doors closin.

Hang fire while I get my talker plugged in.

Testin, testin.

Ya’ll hear me okay?

Let’s get this show on the road.

Welcome aboard for the Tabula Rasa tour. My name’s Bobby Towser. Most folk round here call me Sparky, so you go ahead and do so if it please ya. In a few minutes we’ll be approachin the outskirts of town…and yes ma’m the roads are perfect smooth, like the backside of a new born baby, well most of em anyhow.

Today’s tour will include just a few of the sights of our proud town. We’ll hit the west side first then mosey on up to the north, take in the water park mongst other tourist amenities and finally shoot on over to the Grand Hotel, designed by world class architects, where ya’ll be stoppin.

How ya doin there Ben? Thirsty? Folks, there’s a chiller at the rear of the bus if ya’ll feeling parched. There’s bottled water, Cola and Dr Pepper if it takes ya fancy. Don’t go a guzzlin it all at once mind, we got a fair way to go.

As ye can see there ain’t much traffic on the roads yet. Tabula Rasa is all brand new. Heck, even I ain’t moved into my new digs yet. Still got me a trailer over on the east side, long with the rest of the workers. Should any of ya fancy uppin sticks an movin out here, there’s a meetin at ten with Mayor Peck, and a whole buncha real estate agents in the function room of the Grand. Breakfast is included free o charge.

Hark at me yammerin on. If ya’ll care to look out the left…any moment…there, our own local brewery, Johnson’s Draft. You can sup down a jar or two at various bars around the town and sure makes for sweet relief after a hard days work. Johnson’s is a family business, they moved out here not long ago when they head about our new town. Lot’s of folk uppin sticks these days, sure seems like they got bottle rockets up their asses, comin out here like fourth o July fireworks.

We’re now swinging out west past inter farm country. On ya left we got the Greggor place, mostly cattle. Damn fine steak right there folks.

Like steak Ben? Good kid.

Just up a ways we got the the ole Hackit Farm. The Hackits been farmin corn here for generations, long before the town came along. See them trees? That’s Temper Farm, run by Clarence Temper an his sons. Temper’s wife got sucked down inter one o them sink holes years back. Never did find her body. Local legend says Temper killed his wife one night after he found her in a hayloft with one o the farm boys.

No sir, law an order’s top quality round here.

Yes ma’am, jus rumour is all.

If ya’ll care to look out on the right…uh-yup, there’s ole Farmer Reedy at his veg stall. Mighty fine beets, carrots, cabbage…you name it…yup, there he is loungin in his chair.

Give ole Reedy a wave folks.

Oh…uh-yup, he’s a snoozin away alrighty.

Movin on. We’ll be takin Hawkin Road back to town. Plenty o farm land round here. Mostly family run places, big corporations ain’ta moved in yet, doubt they will neither. We got a good politics here, not many votin for big industry, keepin it local fe local people.

Jus crossin the west bridge now, used to be old wooden contraption back in the day when the railroad came through here. Investors sunk enough money in our town to attract new up’n comin families an businesses. Folk jus like ya’ll.

Here we are comin back inter town. On the left we got Pinewood Mall. I hear they got three o them Starbucks in there.

Uh-yup, Chucky Cheese too ma’am.

Like Chucky Cheese, Ben?

Good kid.

Main Street’s got all the amenities. Fast food joints, Jalopy’s Bar an Grill does the best steak in town. Up on the right…next to Wal-Mart, ye got the Cineplex and bowling alleys. Me an the lads took it fe a test drive other night, recommend it for the family night out.

Sorry sir, need to speak up at the back. Ole Betsy gets to whinin in the heat.

Yes sir, we got three schools right here. Ye like school little Ben?

Uh-yup, sounds bout right, but ye gotta go to school kid.

Up ahead we’ve got the court buildings and office blocks.

Yes sir, Sheriff Malorney is training recruits right now.

Say what there, little Ben? Ye wanna be a cop? It’s an honorable job, kid.

No ma’am, ain’t encouraging the kid.

Okay folks, movin up north aways, we’ll take in the water park but first…there, just on the right, we got the Pinnacle Stadium. Say Ben, ye like baseball?

Transformers huh? Like the movie?

Well I ain’t seen the new un but sure as heck thought that big red truck was mighty fine.

Right here we got plenty space. City planners ain’t filled in all the blanks on the map jus yet. Autumn Park’s got a big bandstand, beautiful big trees so plenty o sticks for ya dogs to fetch. Reckon fourth o July’ll be a big hit this year. As ya’ll can see, the town thins out a tad right about here. But ye should jus see the water park up ahead. Splash Mountain they call it.

It’s a mighty fine place. Impressive ain’t it? Them towers were inspired by the Golden Gate Bridge. All sortsa fun things for the family, water slides, rapids, wave machine thingamajig, cafe’s…heck they even got a hotel built right inter the park for folks who don’t wanna do nothin but swim I guess.

I’ll swing around inter the parkin lot right here folks.

Say what, Ben? Sorry little fella, water park don’t open for another two days.

Movin on then folks. We’ll head back to town.

No sir, I only run the tour on my days off. Mostly I work at the power plant. Uh-yup, you got that right sir. Hydro-electric from the dam across Hunters Gorge. Guess that’s why they call me Sparky. I make sure ye lights come on past sunset.

Alrighty folks, here we are back in town. We’ll mosey along Second Street, check out more sights…uh-yup, here on the left we got the Imperial Museum. They got a big ole dinosaur right in the lobby. Across the way ye got Monroe Theatre Hall, rumour has it we got some big stars acomin soon to walk the boards. Ain’t one fe drama myself.

Up ahead we got office blocks an business centre. Some big names comin out here so I’m told.

Uh-yup, you got it one sir but our industrial sector is still under construction. Finishin touches they say, that’s all out east aways. It’ll be up an runnin any day now, already got businesses movin in.

Movin on then folks, we’ll take a right into Central Avenue and rest up at the Grand Hotel.

Yes ma’am, lots of interest in our town. Uh-yup, it does look empty, sure thing, but jus imagine it with people. I couldn’t say for certain but families are movin in every day. Very true, ma’am, tis a golden opportunity for sure.

And here we are, the Grand Hotel. If ya’ll jus stay seated while I pull up.

Any questions folks?

Uh-yup, coast is about twenty minutes drive from the town centre. We’ll have a bus service up an runnin any day now. We’re pretty isolated right here, mountains up north, good hikin an fishin right there. I hear there’s a company takin folk inter the wilds, some stunnin lakes and views.

Yes ma’am, house prices are very reasonable. Some bigger plots out aways near the hills, pricey too, but ye pay for the views an privacy too. I hear there’s a gated community goin up right now. Oakwood Terrace they calls it. Uh-yup, very exclusive, golf course too.

Say what, kid? Wash Harbour has a fair few boats, used to be a fishin village a whiles back. It was swept away bout fourty year gone in a big storm. Only thing left standin was the light house. All rebuilt now though, kid. Happy days.

Yes sir, air-con is right through those doors.

Uh-yup, you got that right, little Ben. It sure is hot out in the sun.

Everyone got their luggage?

Good. Good.

Miss Ford over by the entrance will get ya’ll checked in.

Well folks, I’ll bid good day to ya. Hope you enjoyed our little tour. Maybe I’ll see you round if ya consider movin on out to our town sometime soon.

This short piece was inspired by Indigo Spider’s Tabula Rasa – a social writing event where visitors are encouraged to take part in creating the fictional town of Tabula Rasa. Initial stages are all about laying the foundations for the town, the location, look and feel etc. After that it’s up to you to fill the town with a rich history, story lines, characters and so on.

I didn’t want to simply write a description of the town, so I went for a guided tour with Bobby “Sparky” Towser. He seems like a decent chap, smiling and cheery. Although the first stages were about the town itself, and not the people, I couldn’t help but throw in a few characters and a snippet of history. I’ve only written a tiny piece of the town, how I imagined the west and north parts would look. So plenty of detail to go around!

I look forward to helping build up the town with you!

If you fancy taking part in this exciting project then click yourself over to Tabula Rasa at Indigo Spider and help yourself to a slice of history! And if you don’t want to blog about it you can take part in the project by visiting the Tabula Rasa Forums.

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